After Minnesota redistricting maps were released on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Huldah Momanyi Hiltsley and Susan Pha who announced their candidacies in 2021 for Minnesota Senate District 40 will both remain in a new redrawn Senate district which will be Senate District 38. Photos: Richard Ooga/Mshale and Susan Pha Campaign
After Minnesota redistricting maps were released on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Huldah Momanyi Hiltsley and Susan Pha who announced their candidacies in 2021 for Minnesota Senate District 40 will both remain in a new redrawn Senate district which will be Senate District 38. Photos: Richard Ooga/Mshale and Susan Pha Campaign

A special redistricting panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court today released new maps for Minnesota’s legislative and congressional districts. Redistricting is required after the U.S. Census Bureau releases new population counts every 10 years.

It is the responsibility of the Minnesota Legislature to come up with the final maps but has failed to do so in the last half century necessitating the courts to step in.

In the current Senate District 40 which is represented by Sen. Chris Eaton, the seat has attracted Susan Pha and Huldah Momanyi Hiltsley who both announced their candidacies last year. Eaton is not seeking reelection.

The two are the main contenders to replace Eaton in the new redrawn district. Their latest campaign finance filings show the two virtually even in terms of money raised.

Both Hiltsley and Pha will remain in the same Senate district, which after redistricting will now be Senate District 38. Neither responded to Mshale by the time of this writing to state their political intentions after their new maps were released. Other than a new numeric assignment, the redistricting panel appears to have left the old Senate district mostly intact.

“We are not positioned to draw entirely new … districts, as the legislature could choose to do. Rather, start with the existing districts, changing them as necessary to remedy the constitutional defect by applying politically neutral redistricting principles,” the panel wrote as they released the maps.

There had been some expectation that Pha and Hiltsley might end up in different districts but with the redistricting question now settled, the two are expected to shift gears and start getting ready in earnest for Senate district conventions expected in March or April.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) in a statement Tuesday seemed to reflect the sentiments of most elected officials and aspirants.

“With the maps now released from the judicial panel, we will begin the process of analyzing the information, which will take some time,” Hortman wrote.

You can view the new redistricting maps at this link.

About Tom Gitaa

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, President and Publisher of Mshale. As the founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation. Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dishnetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. Tom also served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. He retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on half marathons.

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